Helen Gordon Child Development Center

We are Portland State University's full-day infant/toddler and preschool program, serving 200 children aged four-months to five years.

For more than 40 years, Helen Gordon Child Development Center has been providing quality preschool education for the children of Portland State University’s students, faculty and staff, as well as families in the greater Portland community. Located in a historic building on the corner of southwest 12th Avenue and Market Street, Helen Gordon Center has gained a reputation for its innovative programs, excellent teachers, and creative learning environment. The Center enrolls over 200 children aged 4 months to 5 years. With strong links to PSU’s College of Education, HGCDC is a vibrant learning community for current and future educators, impacting countless schools and programs throughout the region. The Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Helen Gordon Center’s role within the University is two-fold:

  • The Center provides students and faculty/staff parents with a high-quality on-campus early education and child care program and;
  • The Center offers an academic resource, welcoming participation by University faculty and students in the fields of early childhood education, child and family studies, psychology and related fields.

The opportunities for collaboration with the academic departments on the Portland State University campus are rich and varied. The departments provide the program with a pool of eager, capable students who enhance our person-power and challenge our thinking with new ideas. The professionals in the various departments also serve to support our Center by sharing expertise and resources. This has been particularly fruitful in the Center's relationship with key faculty members in the College of Education.

As a university campus-based early childhood center, our goal is to provide an exemplary program for the enrolled children and their families as well as the academic and professional community. Our teachers are professionals in early childhood education and have appropriate degrees and experience. They support university students in their learning and work with young children and serve as mentor teachers. In addition to the professional staff, each classroom has a number of PSU student employee assistant teachers helping to carry out the goals of the program. Many of the students are majoring in fields related to teaching young children such as Child and Family Studies, Education, Social Work, and Psychology. We have found that our student employees, with their various life and educational experiences, enrich and contribute to our program.